On November 7th we hosted the LALT Showcase: Education in a Digital Age event. During the day academics gave presentations on how they have used technology to enhance their teaching. This presentation was related to Work-Based Distance Learning Programmes and using Blackboard Collaborate Ultra to connect with distance learners to create a blended and collaborative learning space. Below we have the abstract and a video of the presentation.
Distance learners of Work-Based Distance Learning (WBDL) programmes in University of Lincoln (UoL) come from 60 different countries or regions. Around 60% of WBDL students are from the British Military and the rest are from civilian backgrounds.
Distance learning is a personal preference chosen by these students who would like to complete their undergraduate or postgraduate programmes. For these students without physical access to the Library resources and tutor support, the Internet, online resources and online tutor support become essential for information acquisition and skills development.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra is one of the tools our WBDL team adopted within the blended student centred approach in learning, teaching and assessment. We use this tool to connect and to engage with our learners online, deliver online inductions and online drop-in sessions. In the live sessions using this tool, students have a sense of belonging to the learning community.
Our team sees the potential of Collaborate Ultra to be adopted in more online support scenarios and in all programmes we operate. The reflection on our own user experience, combined with the feedback from our learners will help to shape how more effectively and creatively we can use this tool in its full pedagogical potential to provide flexible and timely support to our learners.